January 30, 2007

Edwards New Shack

Dean Barnett at Townhall has done another of his always insightful and humorous FAQ articles. Today's subject, John Edwards new shack in the Chapel Hill SC countryside. Question eight:

#8) This whole FAQ seems like a cheap shot. Big deal. We’re supposed to believe you’re suddenly against conspicuous consumption?
I’m not. Quite to the contrary, I conspicuously consume as much as my meager means allow me to. Furthermore, conspicuous consumption is good for the economy. The design and construction of the Edwards house is no doubt employing dozens of artisans, craftsmen and day laborers.
But I’ve always felt that Edwards is a phony. I don’t call him an empty suit – that’s too generous. I refer to him as a suit filled with anti-matter. It’s a bit hard to believe that someone who is actually obsessed with the plight of America’s downtrodden would devote so much energy and so many resources to building a home fit for a modern Medici. I just don’t buy it.
You can read the whole thing here.

January 28, 2007

Raider Ramblings

Comedian Ron White does a bit about being on a plane bound for Phoenix that develops engine trouble and needs to return to the airport. A nervous passenger asks if they’ll make it and Ron responds "you bet, he says, all the way to the crash site".
If you are an Oakland Raiders fan you are asking yourself the same question. Ever since Jon Gruden bailed out then proceeded to beat Bill Calahan senseless with his own play book in Super Bowl XXXVII, the Raiders have been in a death spiral. First with Calahan, followed briefly by Norv Turner. Even in the down years of the late eighties and early nineties the team has never performed this badly, nor given absolutly no glimmer of hope to a hungry Raider Nation.
I held my breath that Art Shell II would turn things around until he stated after week three, that when the team returned after the bye week they had a "few things" to work out.
When they get back? You loose the first three games of the regular season and you get a week off? You don't get a week off ya bunch of yahoos. You get to bust ass in two a days till you got those "things" worked out.
"In the unlikely loss of cabin pressure the oxygen masks will automatically drop down in front of you. Quit screaming like a little girl and put it on!"
Thanks Art, Don't let the door hit you on the backside.
Al Davis had to realize by the number of applicants that beat a path to his Coliseum door that the wings have completely fallen off the machine. Even though the Raiders have become the Lions, Davis was eventually was able to persuade 30 year old Lane Kiffin to be the fresh meat thrown into the new Black Hole of coaching.
Kiffin will need to find a quarterback and build some kind of an offense in the off season, a tough job even without Al Davis being at the controls. He also will also inherit a disgruntled defense whose loyalties lie with D-coordinator Rob Ryan (who was passed over for the top job) , and when he gets that squared away he gets a chance to deal with the likes of Randy Moss, the most over-hyped player to have never played the game.
For Kiffin, Head Coach may look good on the resume but only if he is able to walk away from the crash.
Good Luck Kid. Hope you brought your chute.

January 27, 2007

The Edwards Compound

I bet he doesn't shop at Wall Mart.
102 Acres, 10,000 Sq Ft house, 17000 Sq Ft rec center.
Six Million Dollars,

January 26, 2007

Scare Tactics.

The Six Pillars of Ethics

Ethics is a topic not normally given too much thought. We can generally define whats right or wrong and operate on autopilot in how we act or play. For most honesty and integrity is second nature. Unfortunatly there are some that convene committees to tell them what not to do.
The JOSEPHSON INSTITUTE OF ETHICS has published the Six Pillars of Ethics that breaks down the basics of ethical behaviour in a simple easy to understand format. The six main pillars are:

1. Trustworthy
2. Respect
3. Responsibility
4. Fairness
5. Caring
6. Citizenship

It should be required reading for anyone with political aspirations (There will be a test!) and for those interested in their own or their children's ethical development.

January 24, 2007

Welcome Double J

I just realized that a couple weeks have passed since I last posted. It's a new term at Tall Corn College and Technical Institute and it has taken me some time to get back into the swing after the Christmas break.

Today, I would like to welcome a new contributor to The Salmon. Coming to you from deep in the heart of Texas by way of Pittsburg. A graduate of Texas A&M and all around great gal is my favorite sister in law JJ. She called me several days ago and asked to join up and I am, as I am sure you are, anxiously awaiting her first post. Visitor traffic will surely skyrocket due to her efforts.

The first time I met JJ I knew she was a keeper. She was just dating my younger brother at the time and they made a trip up to visit me in Alaska. We headed down the Kenai Peninsula to do some halibut fishing in the little fishing port of Homer. The charter we had booked proceeded to take us out to the waters off of Ushagat Island in eight foot seas. In no time we had a boat load of pukers. We anchored over a chicken hole and proceeded to fish. One by one green faced fishermen headed for the cabin, each emerging occasionally to chum the waters of the north Pacific. JJ though was a trooper. She got her limit before heading inside to warm up and never did have to pay a visit the rail. I also have to give some credit to my brother for hanging in there and catching his fish at the same time that he was sacrificing his breakfast to the seas gods. It was not a pretty sight. Three or four of us hauled in fish for those that had taken ill so the trip was not a total waste for our flatlander companions.
Welcome Aboard JJ!

January 09, 2007

Sometimes I wish we could all see the world through the eyes of a child, things could be so much simpler.

We have a three and a half-year-old daughter that from the very beginning, and I know I am biased here, has been a very special little girl. Arwen was what her doctor called a precocious talker before she was one. Not only that she knew a lot of words but that she was using them is sentences that strangers could actually understand. She has a gift for music and often breaks out in song for no apparent reason. I could go on of course, but what she did the other night left me in awe of her little mind and I would like to share it with you.

As we were watching a show about the conjoined twins, Abby and Brittany Hensel, from Minnesota, Arwen came into the room and stopped cold in front of the television. She stood there silently, as I watched her eyes scanning the action on the screen. You could almost hear the little wheels whirling as she intently watched the story of the two girls. “You get to answer this one.” I whispered to my wife as we waited for the inevitable questions to come.

After a long moment of contemplation she looked to me with a seriousness I had never seen and stated matter of factly “Those girls are stuck together”, and that was that. There was no need to question the how or the why. She had boldly stated something so innocently simple that it left me dumbfounded. She had figured it all out on her own and no further explanation was necessary. Nor would I attempt to offer one.

That job done, she climbed up next to my wife on he couch and snuggled in for a bedtime story.

January 08, 2007

January 04, 2007

The Bush Decision.

May 4, 1864. The Army of the Potomac lead by newly promoted General U.S Grant moved south across the Rapatan River intent on meeting General Lee’s forces in the open fields near Cold Harbor. Knowing that he faced superior numbers, Lee raced his forces north hitting the Union Army full force in the area known as The Wilderness. This tangle of thickets, trees and underbrush negated the superior strength of Grant’s army and after two days of intense chaotic fighting both sides were bogged down in sporadic skirmishes. The Union forces had sustained 16,000 casualties in the fight and by all indications Lee had once again beaten the Northerners. Author Robin Neillands describes the events on the night of May 7th:

…The Union soldiers expected that as so often before their commanding general would admit defeat, give Bobby Lee the best of it and pull back across the Rapatan… The men were ordered to move back, form up in column on the Brock Road and prepare to move out. Wearily the men came back grumbling that nothing had changed, that Bobby Lee had outfought yet another Union general. They formed column, shouldered their muskets, and prepared to march-and then General Grant and his staff came jingling out of the night. The soldiers stepped back and let the horseman past and then realized, suddenly, that Grant was riding south. It took some little time for the Union soldiers to realize what was happening. Most of them had no idea which way they were facing when the march began, but some did, and the story quickly spread along the column from regiment to regiment: Grant and the army were indeed marching south. Spirits revived. Here and there regiments even began to cheer…

Grant was well aware that pressure on the president was mounting. Support for the war had waned as the cost and the casualties had mounted. General George B. McClellen, the former commander of the Army of the Potomac, fired by Lincoln, was now the Democratic candidate for president running on an anti-war platform, promising to negotiate a settlement with the south.

George Bush is at the same crossroads that Grant found himself in the Wilderness. Like Grant the president is now listening to his staff as he decides which direction he will take. He can either retreat and wait for an inevitable fight on another day, as has been the case for the last 27 years, or instead march on, completing the strategy that he laid out in the 2002 State of the Union Address.
As he makes his deliberations and formulates his plan the president needs to consider why he was re-elected in 2004. The majority of the American people saw in him the same thing that Lincoln saw in Grant. Lincolns response to those that were demanding Grants dismissal after the debacle at Shiloh was "I can’t spare this man…He fights". Grant determined the strategic goal and focused on the ways to achieve that goal. For him, fighting to a final victory was the only option in 1864 and for us it is the only option in 2007.

March on Mr. President.

Neillands, Robert. "Grant, The man who won the civil war." 2004

January 03, 2007

Snowflake Science

Unique and beautiful. Made possible by the special bonding properties of the hydrogen atom. Everything you ever wanted to know about snowflakes.

Jet Man.

The Swiss Batman, Yves Rossy, has achieved mans quest to fly like a bird. Amazing!

Movie Rant Response

I recently ranted about my disgust of the movie theater concession prices and received this interesting comment.
Anonymous said:

I too have found that my family’s trips to the movie theater dwindled over the last decade because of many of the same issues. But a number of years ago we started a little something that has gotten us back in those comfortable stadium seats. It started with a beat with a close friend of ours. The beat, which one of us could sneak the best, most elaborate food into the theater...As we settle down and prepare our presentations I felt confident that our freshly popped popcorn, sodas and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies would be the clear winner. That was until I looked over at our friends to discover that they had a full spread of chips, salsa and to top that off, freshly made guacamole. Wow! In short, I have found that not only do we save those concession stand dollars, but during the promos it gives you an opportunity to get your feast set up and get comfortable before the main attraction. Oh, you might get a look from some guy that is jealous of you as you add your salsa to that mixture of scrambled eggs, sausage and cheese, but chances are he’s to comfortable to get up and complain to the 18 year old theater manager.

Have fun with it, life is to short!

Thanks Anonymous for that wonderful idea.
I had been known to sneak in some refreshments, but my wife finally refused to carry the 50 quart Igloo as her purse.

John Edwards Announces...

John Edwards was in Iowa December 28th to formally announce his ongoing bid for the Presidency. This came as no suprise to Iowans that have had John hanging around full time after he split the sheets with John Kerry in 2004.
I doubt that he will be able to erase his empty suit image and hone his class warfare message enough to suit Iowa Caucus goers this time around. Iowans love thier Walmart so that tactic wont play well. He will he be relegated to the also rans of democratic hopefuls.
A behind the scenes look at John "I'm so pretty" Edwards.

January 01, 2007

Happy New Years.

Best wishes to all for a Happy and Prosperous 2007!

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.

Benjamin Franklin